Mid-life crisis refers to the observed phenomenon of depression, low motivation and lack of purpose seen in the middle of adult lives. This crisis is seen by psychologists as a product of several factors, including complacency, boredom, hormonal changes and natural ageing process. This is especially more pronounced in men than women, as the former’s social and family roles and responsibilities start to alter at mid-life. There is incentive for both psychologists and the general public to understand this phenomenon, as it affects a sizeable portion of any given population. Lifestyles adopted by people, especially in modern urban centers, as well as sedentary working styles are also said to contribute to the onset of mid-life crisis. Stress, either work related or due to strained relationships, also plays a role.(Bishop, 1999, p.417)
In popular culture, mid-life crisis is often associated with break-up of relationships, divorces, etc, especially when it happens . . . Read More
Marital divorce can be a very painful experience for both the parties. But it can affect the genders in quite different ways. It is a well known fact that divorce rates in advanced nations are quite high compared to that of developing and under-developed nations. The United States and Europe have gained notoriety for their very high divorce rates. Divorce rates are far lesser in much of the rest of the world. But across various cultures, societies remain stratified in terms of gender, “with women having less economic, political, and social power than men. Because gender differences are constructed and reflected in daily interaction, the experience of marriage is quite different for men and women. The same is likely to be true of divorce.” (Amato, 2004, p.207) It then becomes interesting to look at how divorce affects the two genders. The following passages will argue that despite conventional notions about divorce being . . . Read More
Lack of motivation among teenagers is an area of concern for parents and school administrators alike. Low motivation can manifest in the form of disinterest toward studies, unwillingness to participate in extracurricular activities and disinclination toward sports, etc. Low motivation was also closely linked to a plethora of other teenage problems, including “detrimental family background,” “lack of preparation for learning,” “disrespect for teachers,” “participating in school violence,” “truancy”, “deviant behavior”. (Vanderjagt, 2001, p.39) It this context, it is likely that inspiring and motivating teenagers can bring positive transformation in other areas of their lives, creating the groundwork for a healthy adult life. Sociologists have come up with several theories for explaining low motivation among high school students. There are also more practical reasons based on the political, economic and . . . Read More
A few parenting styles have been identified by psychologists. First, there is the Authoritative type, where parents are responsive to their children’s wishes and interests while also demand high standards from them in return. A stricter style of parenting is the Authoritarian type, where parents expect a lot from their children while disregarding their children’s own wants and wishes. A parenting style in which children assume greater power over their parents is the Permissive style. In this style, children get what they want and get away with most mischief. It is generally believed that the Authoritative parenting style is likely to produce emotionally balanced and well-disciplined children, as it banks on co-operation as opposed to skewered power relations between the two parties.
In the case of Amy Chua’s personal story (which is representative of Chinese Americans in general), her two daughters were brought up to excel in both academics and arts. And she . . . Read More
The underlying theme in the story Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin and the poem In Response to Executive Order 9066 by Dwight Okita is that of trust (or lack thereof). Both works of literature leave a lingering poignancy in the mind of the reader, probably because all can relate to the concept of trust as it is central to all human relationships. The thesis of this essay is: the two works in discussion can be taken as moral lessons for those of us who tend to distrust fellow humans, either due to lack of goodwill or prejudice or false beliefs. The following paragraphs will weigh up points in support of this thesis as well as those countering it.
The distrusting characters in the two literary pieces – Armand Aubigny and Denise O’Connor – should respectively be judged based on the cultural mores of their time as well as their age. In the case of Armand Aubigny, a white propertied man and a slave owner, his display of shame and shock upon discovering his . . . Read More
Intelligence testing, which is an important tool for psychological screening and profiling of subjects, has attracted much criticism from various quarters. Intelligence testing, as in standardized IQ tests, have certain limitations, which render them in-comprehensive. For example, psychologists such as Daniel Goleman have introduced a new dimension to cognitive tests by recognizing the importance of ’emotional quotient’ (EQ) or ’emotional intelligence’ (EI) in order to fully measure cognitive ability. Further, many scholars have identified a race/ethnic bias in the construction of conventional tests, which make dubious the validity of their results. For example, the case of examiner bias in Scholastic Aptitude Tests in American schools is widely documented now, putting at disadvantage students from ethnic minorities like African and Hispanic Americans. (Gould, 1996) The rest of this essay will elaborate these points which question the value, . . . Read More
In most of Shakespeare’s plays, the rulers are portrayed to be in a state of mental stress. This is particularly true with respect to the two plays – King Lear and Measure for Measure. King Lear, which is a tragedy, is full of expressions of anguish and pathos by the old king, whose mental faculties are disintegrating by the day. After dividing his kingdom between his two elder daughters Goneril and Regan (who betray his trust), the former king becomes a lonely figure disillusioned with filial love and duty. In a hasty act, he also disowns his youngest daughter Cordelia and ends up without physical and emotional security and care, barring his retinue of one hundred Knights. This situation bears very heavily upon his already weak mental condition and in this state he pours out some of the most heart-wrenching words of anguish and despair. (Beauregard, 2008, p.201) In this respect, the following observation by critic Barbara Ann Lukacs is valid:
“By . . . Read More
Ambrose Bierce’s short story titled An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is one of the classics of the art form. The story could be read from three different angles. First, the political angle provided by the American Civil War of the 1860s. Second is the cultural angle, whereby the unique flavors of the American South can be appreciated. Third, the story provides rich material for studying the psychology of impending death. This essay will extend the third angle and argue that though the hallucinatory sequence experienced by Peyton Farquhar is temporally brief, within it contain profound truths about the nature of human psychology and existence.
A striking aspect of the story is the non-linear plot structure employed by the author. The story is divided into four compact parts. Chronologically they are arranged in this fashion – 2,1,3,4 – which means the background information about Farquhar’s allegiance to the confederate cause is placed next to the event of his . . . Read More
Buddhism is a major religion in current times, but its origins goes back thousands of centuries. Having originated in North Eastern India, it had spread far and wide in the Eastern hemisphere, making it a dominant religion in the Asian continent. Buddhism has been in existence even before the rise of Judeo-Christians, making it stand second only to Hinduism in the chronological order for major surviving religions. But, Buddhism differs from most other major religions of today in that it offers practical and feasible solutions for universal human concerns. Buddhism is typically an Eastern religion for it focuses on human suffering and offers practical solutions to counter it. Rather than dealing with the paranormal and the supernatural, it is a practical philosophy toward life. In other words, Buddhism can be seen as offering psychological insights into the workings of the human mind, an understanding of which will benefit the individual subject. Both Buddhism and psychology can be . . . Read More
Yes, there are obvious dangers in adopting sociological perspectives wholesomely. Firstly, sociology as a branch of rational enquiry, alongside psychology, is the most contested among all sciences. Several sociological theories such as Conflict Theory, Functionalism and Network Theory have elicited substantial proofs to the contrary, that their validity cannot be taken for universal truths. In other words, many sociological theories do not stand rigorous tests and experiments the way general scientific theories do. Take say Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. During the course of last two centuries, copious evidence has been gathered in support of this theory. Recognizing its merits, many theologians who support Creationism have tried to incorporate evolution within the theological framework. Rather than disputing the claims of evolution, they see it as a manifestation of the genius of God and his intelligent designing of the Universe and its lifeforms. . . . Read More